Monday, September 26, 2016

The Road to Rocky Mountain National Park

After four days in Pagosa Springs, I was excited to get on the road, to explore the 5 plus hours of amazing scenery ahead of me. I left early to allow for time to spend in Rocky Mountain National Park but the 5 hours turned to 11 very quickly with the many stops along the way.

The light was just right in the morning as it painted the landscape with saturated colors. The further north I went the more the landscape changed, rich yellow aspens and golden mosses with few maples and oaks just starting to turn orange.

Near Wolf Creek Pass, I had to stop every few minutes because the light and colors had changed so noticeably. It was one of those moments where I was in perpetual awe. Any feeling of lack of sleep I had in waking up at 6:30 was gone, I was full of energy and eager to see the next turn.

The first place I stopped to hike was Treasure Falls. I didn't hike the whole trail, just enough to feel the cool breeze and smell the damp air. Water was rushing down from high mountain cliff. I definitely plan on painting the waterfalls and getting back to the original idea of painting water with all its delicate intricacies.

The trail was steep and I was uncomfortable hiking too deep into the trail, if I had an accident no one would know where I was. Instead I photographed the lower area of the falls and continued on the road to the National Park, it was going to be a very long day of driving.

The lighting kept improving as the sun burned off the clouds. I was seeing more yellows and reds as whole mountain sides were lit with yellow and orange maples and oaks. When I finally drove out of the green and heavily forested mountains I was driving between two ranges on a very flat expanse, I could not wait to get back to the mountains but the whole character changed from lots of trees to more rocks and sand.

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